An Acton company is saving money and becoming more eco-friendly thanks to an Ealing Council scheme to help local small and medium sized businesses. Your company could benefit from the scheme, too.
Colour Sound Experiment designs and supplies lighting, rigging and video to bands, festivals and events and is one of the businesses in the borough being helped to become more energy efficient through the council’s smart business grant scheme.
The business was awarded a £5,000 grant to replace the lighting stock it hires out to venues, upgrading it to more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly LED systems.
They are so effective that it means a venue will need to hire fewer lighting units and also use less energy to power the lights. This not only cuts the venue’s costs, but also reduces the amounts of mains electricity it needs to use or the amount of diesel required for generators – which will result in less air pollution and lower carbon emissions.
It has been estimated the energy savings from the equipment upgrade could be in the region of 25 megawatt hours per year, which would be enough energy to power an average UK home for five years. It will also save those using the equipment £3,465, over the course of a year, in lower energy costs.
It does not stop there, however. The company is now looking at improving its own energy efficiency after receiving a report by the council into that as well.
‘A FAR MORE SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS’
Haydn Cruickshank, the managing director and founder of Colour Sound Experiment (pictured above with the new equipment), said: “One of the largest contributors to our carbon footprint is our lighting hire stock. Tackling that is not only important for our customers’ peace of mind but can also turn us into a far more sustainable business and help save money. We became aware of the smart business survey and grant for energy efficient projects at the end of September and, within a week, Ealing Council had already arranged to come and conduct an energy survey.
“The new LED lamps are not only more energy efficient than the counterparts they replaced but also much brighter and, so, for every three of the older models we would have used, we now only require one, generating great energy savings for ourselves and our customers.
“In addition to being awarded a grant of £5,000 towards the total cost of the project, we also got a tailored report which showed where we were using the most energy and suggested different measures we could put in place to reduce it, from small and cheap such as putting aerators on the taps, to much more ambitious projects such as replacing the heating.
“All in all, the process was a lot easier and faster than we expected, and the additional suggestions for improvements, specifically tailored to our business, have started a conversation here in the workplace which will lead to some pretty important changes.”
The council has also helped Colour Sound Experiment identify additional funding it can be awarded by the Carbon Trust which could provide a further 30% capital grant towards building upgrades – and the trust also offers advice on finding trusted suppliers and sources of materials.
HOW DOES THE SCHEME WORK?
It all starts with a free survey designed to help identify ways to reduce the costs of things like heating and water.
Once a series of measures has been identified, a support package of up to 50% of costs may be made available, with the remainder match-funded by the business. The minimum grant awarded is £1,000 and the maximum £5,000.
All types of small and medium sized businesses can apply and benefit from the smart business grant.
So far, businesses as diverse as staircase manufacturers, co-working hubs and fish and chip shops have successfully applied.
In partnership with the Carbon Trust, the council could also help your business secure up to 80% grant funding towards building and equipment upgrades that can lead to lower energy, water and waste bills.